Monday, October 27, 2008

Happy Halloween!

We don’t get many trick or treaters, so therefore plan on driving up to our son’s house to be with our granddaughter. She will be a ‘princess’ for Halloween. Here is a picture of our other grandchild, Bear. The cape and bat ears don’t show up in the picture, but he has them on as well.

The author event at the Library was wonderful. Mr. Koblas is a wealth of information in the outlaw genre, and his lecture about Jesse James was remarkable. Two short interesting things he shared about gang members: Cole and Jim Younger were both arrested after the failed raid on the Northfield, MN bank, and were incarcerated at the Stillwater, MN prison. When a fire broke out in the prison, a warden gave Cole a gun, told him to get his men, and rescue the women prisoners from the raging fire. The Younger ‘Boys’ saved the women and then turned in their guns and continued to serve their time. The warden played a large role in the Cole and Jim receiving parole. However, during this time when a man was on parole, he had no rights, and Jim Younger had fallen in love. After requesting permission to marry the young women, and denied the right (being on parole was the same as being dead, and a dead man couldn’t marry), Jim shot himself. (Living together in those days was not an option.)

The Northern Lights Writers retreat weekend was fabulous. The planning committee did a terrific job and provided three wonderful days dedicated to the ins, outs, and all about romance writing. And of course we had enough food and chocolate to feed a small country!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

John Koblas

I’m a member of my local library board, and each fall we provide an author’s dinner. This year our featured author is John Koblas. Mr. Koblas has written over 500 short stories, articles, and poems published worldwide, a nationally syndicated column, and feature stories for the Daytona Beach News-Journal. He is also one of the most prolific writers in the outlaw genre. The event is this Thursday night, where John will appear in authentic “Jessie James” 1890’s clothing.

AND on Friday, I leave for my writers retreat. Twelve members of the Northern Lights Writers will spend the weekend at a Bed and Breakfast on the North Shore, talking about nothing except ROMANCE WRITING!

It’s an exciting week for me. How about you?

Monday, October 13, 2008

Vote 08

I’m not going to tell you who to vote for, try to convince you which party is right or wrong, which candidate will make better decisions, or begin to justify the billions of dollars spent on elections across the United States. But I am going to ask you to please, please get out and vote.

The presidential election in November 1920 was the first time women in all states were allowed to exercise their right to vote. Only one woman from the 1848 convention, where the right was first proposed, was still alive. Charlotte Woodward was eighty-one years old when she proudly cast her vote—72 years after the battle began.

The right wasn’t gained easily—women were incarcerated, beaten, tortured, and murdered. It was a long and bloody battle, one that is often overlooked or forgotten when Election Day rolls around.

I touch on this issue in Mail Order Husband, where readers are introduced to Victoria Claflin-Woodhull, the first woman to run for the Presidency. The Equal Rights Party nominated her in 1872. The book also mentions how Woodhull spent Election Day in jail.

The women who initiated and fought for decades for this right weren’t fighting for themselves. They fought for women kind, so future generations would have more say, more opportunities to live a life of equality.

So in 2008—88 years after the right was granted, I’m asking all women to please respect the women who changed our lives. Honor their trials, tribulations and deaths by voting.

A final voting tidbit—Mickey Mouse, via write in lines on ballots, has won elections across the United States. The cartoon character has won everything from school board elections to state Governor. The only election he hasn’t won is the Presidency of the United States. The fact that an 80-year-old mouse (no matter how loveable he is) wins any election should be an embarrassment to all political parties, and not what I believe our foremothers fought for.

Vote in 08! Put your mark on the ballet and proudly wear your little red stickers!

Monday, October 6, 2008


A hobby is something a person does for enjoyment and can range from collecting bugs to racing race cars and anything in between. What may be a hobby to one person may be a job or career for another. Hobbies can change, and people can have many hobbies without being solely dedicated to just one. I myself have many hobbies, (besides writing romance). I like to sew, knit, crochet, garden, read (romance novels), NASCAR, antiques, wood crafts, and volunteering in the community besides several other things. Here’s a picture of my antique stove in my dining room.

Hobbies have been as long as man. Many of the discoveries in our world actually came from someone with a dedicated hobby. Space findings, medicines, sports, games, plants, recipes, appliances, vehicles, occupations, the list goes on and on.

When I was growing up a friend of my father built replica train depots. He’d traveled across the United States and spend days measuring a station, then go home and build it to scale for display in his basement. He said he’d been doing it since he was a small boy.

Hobbies have been on my mind this week because I read fewer and fewer children truly have hobbies anymore. The article said video games have taken over where model cars kits, kite flying, card collecting, and various other hobby type entertainments used to flourish. The average age of a person taking up their first ‘hobby’ is in their thirties. The article made me sad. Where are the new innovations going to come from? What happen to the young scientist in the basement? Or the future fashion model sewing clothes for Barbie?

As a child, one of my favorite hobbies was writing. Every once in awhile my mother will show me another story, book, or poem I’d written years ago, and ironically, she’d saved. What about you? What was your favorite hobby growing up? And are you still involved in it?